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Standard OPT F1 International Students UFIC International Student Services January 28, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Standard OPT F1 International Students UFIC International Student Services January 28, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Standard OPT F1 International Students UFIC International Student Services January 28, 2013

2 Optional Practical Training (OPT)  PART 1:  What is OPT?  OPT Facts  Three Types of OPT  Pre-Completion  Post-Completion  STEM Extension OPT  Applying for OPT  OPT Reporting & Travel Requirements STANDARD OPT

3  Optional practical training is temporary employment authorization that allows F-1 students to gain practical work experience (on- or off-campus) by applying their academic knowledge to a position directly related to their area of study.  Standard OPT  Pre-Completion OPT  Available to all majors  Post-Completion OPT: 12 Months  Available to all majors What is OPT?

4  To be eligible, you must have completed at least one full academic year of study (fall and spring semesters only*)  You can work on OPT before you graduate (pre-completion OPT) or after you graduate (post-completion); however, the guidelines are slightly different for each.  MUST work in a position directly related to your field of study  You do not need to have a job before you apply. *summer semesters are considered vacation time for international students and do NOT count toward full academic year of study. STANDARD OPT Facts

5  May not exceed 90 aggregate days of unemployment  OPT is obtained through the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).  You are only eligible for 12 months of full-time OPT for each higher degree level earned.  If your OPT is approved you will be issued an EAD card, which you must have BEFORE you begin working.  Application fee for OPT is $380. STANDARD OPT Facts, continued

6  Pre-completion OPT is granted to students who will work BEFORE graduation or program completion.  Your OPT cannot begin until after you have completed your first year of full time study (fall and spring semesters).  After you have completed the first academic year, the earliest you can apply for OPT is 90 days before you wish to begin working.  You can choose what date you begin OPT. STANDARD OPT: Pre-Completion

7  Since you are working on OPT while you are still in school, you must be enrolled full-time (12 credits undergraduate/ 9 credits graduate).  You can only work 20 hours per week except during breaks from school, when you can work 40.  The time you work using pre-completion OPT takes away from the 12 months total OPT, deducted at a 50% rate.  i.e.: If you work 4 months using pre-completion OPT, you will have taken away 2 months of post- completion OPT, leaving you with only 10 months of post completion OPT. STANDARD OPT: Pre-Completion, continued

8  Post-completion OPT is granted to students who will work AFTER graduation/degree completion.  You choose the date you wish to begin working.  Start date MUST be within 60 days of graduation  You should apply for OPT BEFORE you graduate/finish coursework* or Clear Prior**  The earliest you can apply for post-completion OPT is 90 days before your graduation or completion date.  You must work at least 20 hours or more per week. STANDARD OPT: Post-Completion

9 * USCIS does allow OPT application during the grace period, BUT the application MUST be at the USCIS office BEFORE the grace period is over and you must still choose an OPT start date within the grace period. ** Clear Prior: You will finish degree requirements before the beginning of the next semester, but will not actually graduate until the end of that next semester. STANDARD OPT: Post-Completion, continued

10  Make an appointment!  Call or to schedule an appointment to meet with your International Student Advisor  Bring the following documents with you (complete all forms BEFORE your appointment)  Departmental Confirmation Letter completed by your Academic Advisor/Department  Complete the I-765 Application Form  TYPE in the fieldsI-765 Application Form  Your Passport & Visa (BRING THE ORIGINAL)  Your I-94 (BRING THE ORIGINAL)  Two passport-regulation photos which are less than 30 days old.passport-regulation photos  OPT Questionnaire OPT Questionnaire  Any EAD cards or employment records from previous jobs in the US  A personal check, money order, or cashier’s check for $380, payable to Department of Homeland Security Instructions & Forms: Applying for OPT

11  You are responsible for mailing your application through the USPS to:  USCIS Dallas Lockbox PO Box Dallas, TX  Recommended to mail via “Certified Mail”  The receipt notice and the OPT card will arrive at the UFIC, and you will be notified via your GatorLink address as each arrive.  If you cannot graduate/complete your program by the expected program end date on your OPT endorsed I-20, contact your ISA at UFIC BEFORE your I-20 expires. Applying for OPT, continued

12 Reporting, Volunteering and Travel Requirements while on Standard OPT

13  You must update your address within TEN days of moving  There are three things you must do:  Complete the ONLINE AR-11 Change of Address: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=coa.Terms https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=coa.Terms  Update your personal info in MyUFL: https://my.ufl.edu https://my.ufl.edu  Send an to your International Student Advisor with your UFID, full name, new address and telephone number Address Update

14  Standard OPT is NOT restricted to an E-Verified Employer  Volunteering DOES count as maintaining status while on Standard OPT  Reporting Information Employer / Volunteer Info  Employer Name  Employer Address  City, State, Zip Code  Date Began/Started  Date Ended/Stopped  Supervisor's Name  Supervisor's  Supervisor's Tel #

15  USCIS allows volunteering on Standard OPT  Must still be directly related to your major  Must be at least 20 hours or more weekly  Obtain a “Letter of Commitment/Volunteer” for your records Volunteering

16  You are still on an F1 Student Visa  Traveling out of the US is always risky, but if you choose to do so, in order to return to the U.S. you must have  Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months beyond entry date)  Valid F1 Student Visa  I-20 (which has been endorsed for OPT)  Valid travel signature (valid for 6 months from date signed)  Employment Authorization Document (EAD/OPT card)  Letter of Employment (on employer’s letterhead, stating your name, job title, brief description of duties, and a general idea of OPT start date; if you have already started, a letter confirming employment and knowledge of your travel plans)  2-3 recent pay stubs * Dependents must have their own I-20, passport, F2 visa and copy of the F1’s I-20, OPT card and employment letter Travel During OPT

17 Standard OPT Questions?

18 Contact Your International Student Advisor! A-CD-JK & L Patricia AlbaEthel PorrasScott Davis M-QR-TU-Z Candice DeBose-TysonJessica KellyMartine Angrand


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